Super Bowl ruined by front page sledge
People in New Orleans do not forget.
An entire city of jilted, seething Saints fans on Monday came together to sass the Super Bowl to pieces with a series of brilliant sledges that have attracted worldwide attention.
The incredible anger towards the NFL, resulting from the highly controversial "no-call" referee decision in the NFC championship game against the Los Angeles Rams which robbed the Saints of a place in Super Bowl LII, is showing no signs of being mediated any time soon.
The fine people from Louisiana are at least channelling their rage into brilliance.
The mood of the city was summed up by local newspaper The Times-Picayune, which used its front page the morning after the Patriots' Super Bowl triumph to deliver a deliciously salty jab at the NFL and the referees responsible for their playoffs elimination.
The broadsheet paper used an entirely blank front page below its masthead title, highlighting the simplest of phrases splashed innocently enough, just above the fold.
It's simplicity only sharpened the front page dagger.
"Super Bowl? What Super Bowl," the front page headline read.
There was only two brief stories tied right at the bottom of the page. Every other column inch on the splash was pure shade.
The USA Today reported the New Orleans paper delivered the "most shade in history".
The whole country seemed to love the newspaper more than the 13-3 snoozefest.
In truth, the iconic front page was simply the tip of the iceberg in the city of New Orleans masterclass of sledging.
The entire city had for two weeks threatened to ignore the most watched sporting event in America - and they delivered on that threat in spades.
The city-sponsored "Boycott Bowl" hosted a party of mardi gras proportions - bringing the city to life at the expense of the game locals dubbed Super Bowl LIIIE.
A special beer called "Boycott Bowl Blonde Ale" was shipped in for the party. The streets were filled with partying locals - all revelling in their less than subtle jab at the football establishment.
The boycott was in fact very real. According to TV ratings from across the US, the Super Bowl broadcast into New Orleans had the lowest percentage captive audience across all 56 city markets measured across the country.
It was a whopping 50 per cent crash compared to the TV audience that watched last year's Super Bowl in the normally football-mad city.
The whole city joined in the spirit of sticking it to the NFL, with several costumes worn to the Boycott Bowl party spreading across the internet on Monday.
The ones poking fun at the NFL referees responsible for missing the pass interference on receiver Tommylee Smith deep into the Rams' win over the Saints two weeks ago were the most celebrated.
It comes two weeks after The Times-Picayune delivered an equally-awesome front page which perfectly captured the city's baffled anger towards the NFC championship game injustice.
The lesson is - even if you're the NFL - you don't want to get on New Orleans' bad side.